Opening night

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When you are working as the director on a play, you tend to become superfluous on opening night. The actors have their lines and blocking learned. The set is ready. Sound and light design has been handed to the technical people. You have to surrender your baby to the cast and tech team, and hope that they are kind, loving adoptive parents. You’ve told them what you want. They have practiced. But if they decide to deliver Hamlet’s soliloquy through the medium of modern dance and jazz hands, without telling you, then, there’re not really a lot you can do.

If you are both the writer and director then the wrench of offering up your baby to the masses is even worse. That play has come from the pit of your mind and you are donating it for public consumption. People tend to judge writers from a moral viewpoint more so than they do directors or actors. Those people are interpreters. The writer is the creator of the idea. Therefore slightly more of a morally dubious character.

Last night was opening night of Firedoor Theatre’s ‘Uncut summer 2017’ – a showcase of original short plays.

My offering this time is ‘Mother’s Little Holiday’. It’s the show finale – which in my mind is quite prestigious. It’s a low down, vulgar comedy about thrashy people living thrashy lives. While dressed in leopard-print. In Tenerife. It’s not high art I grant you, but people seem to find the adventures of Maureen (a woman with notions as dark as her fake tan) and her vinegar lipped sidekick Carol, entertaining. This latest chapter in their sordid lives is the sequel to my February play ‘Mother’s Little Treasure’ which saw Maureen all aflutter in her new IKEA kitchen, as she awaited the release from prison of her cruelly misjudged white collar criminal son Gary (pronounced ‘Gorry’). This new update sees our intrepid pair in hot pursuit of Gorry to the Canaries – to where he had fled upon his release – with his low-down, devious, good for nothing tart of a girlfriend Rosario. But where is Gorry? And why is the bar he purchased with the proceeds of his embezzlement called ‘Casa Rosario’? You’ll have to come to the Pearse Centre for 8pm on Friday and Saturday to find out. Continue reading Opening night

A sense of impending doom

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Tuesday was a day of dread.

Monday saw the return of my glorious leader to work, after her summer holidays. This was bad enough. She’d no doubt be revivified. Full of vim and vigour, with a plethora of new tasks for me to perform. New hoops to jump through to prove my worth – not just as an employee, but as a human being. Although – of course – I am not a human being. I am a human doing. Or something.

What was far worse was the one-to-one meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday. This is a monthly meeting that is not for discussing the details of my job. This one is far more sinister. This one is to discuss my career plans, my performance to date, my areas for improvement, my opportunities. Continue reading A sense of impending doom

Cinematheque: ‘Atomic Blonde’

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Monday evening is my only night off this week. Tuesday night will be the tech rehearsal for the show. Wednesday will be the dress rehearsal. Then from Thursday to Saturday it is show-time. For this run, (The show is ‘Uncut 2017 ‘ and is on at the Pearse Centre from 17th to 19th August at 8pm) I have not written any acting part for myself. Partly to do with my utter laziness when it comes to learning lines (make no mistake – just because you have written a piece doesn’t make it magically easier to learn). It also has to do with the fact that ‘Mother’s Little Holiday’ is a sequel to a piece I wrote for the February showcase called ‘Mother’s Little Holiday. The cast remains the same, therefore no room for me. I will be directing this new piece however, so it’s not like I will be idling. I won’t have pre-show nerves in the same manner that I get before going onstage. But the tension will still be palpable.

My Monday plan was to loll about, like a sack of meal on a sofa, watching television. I received a text asking if I wanted to avail of a ‘two for a tenner’ cinema offer. A fiver for a film is a bargain, so I agreed. ‘Atomic Blonde’ in the Odeon Cinema on the top floor of the abandoned shopping centre in the Point it was so.

I knew nothing about the film, save for what I’d seen on the side of Dublin buses. Therefore I knew that Charlize Theron was glammed up and carried a gun. Continue reading Cinematheque: ‘Atomic Blonde’

I’m going to Cork. Boy

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I am heading to the Irish Riviera this weekend. This is my personal (and highly unofficial) name for Cork. Being located in Ireland means that in reality, Cork – like all places in Ireland – has a deep and meaningful understanding of rain. It is true however that the temperatures there are marginally higher than the rest of the country, seeing as it is located as far south in the island as it is possible to go. Continue reading I’m going to Cork. Boy

Gaze Film Festival: Documentaries


The August bank holiday weekend, also saw the 25th anniversary of  GAZE – the Irish LGBT film festival. Over forty films were screened – some old classics; films soon to be released in cinema; low budget films that exist thanks to the film festival circuit; short films and documentaries. The festival was held in the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. Continue reading Gaze Film Festival: Documentaries

Cult movie time: ‘Cruising’

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My Saturday evening was sensible. I arrived home early, with noble intentions of going to bed, to prepare myself for a productive rehearsal today. Then I opened Youtube. One of the ‘recommended’ clips for me was the 1980 film ‘Cruising’.

I saw this several years ago in Amsterdam. Therefore my recollection of the film was slightly hazy. I clicked on the link. Continue reading Cult movie time: ‘Cruising’

Fiction: ‘The Doll’

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Today’s blog is a departure. As my loyal readers will know I write regular pieces for this blog, and also plenty of short plays. I have been neglecting my prose writing however. Having no writing project on the simmer at the moment, I decided to attend a writers’ workshop near my house today.  Time to practice my fiction.

The concept was simple. The facilitator provided a visual prompt. We then had thirty minutes to write a piece. Afterwards those who were willing would read it to the group.

Today’s prompt was a ‘Tiny Tears’ doll.  This is my endeavour. I’ve not edited it apart from the spelling mistakes. I hope you enjoy it. Continue reading Fiction: ‘The Doll’

Theatre times: ‘Jimmy’s Hall’

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On Wednesday evening I attended ‘Jimmy’s Hall’ in the Abbey Theatre.

I purchased the tickets six months ago, not knowing anything about the play- aside from the fact that the true story was an adaptation from a 2014 film by Ken Loach. As ‘early bird’ tickets were available for ten euros, for the Saturday night Dublin preview (the play had already had its world premiere shows in Leitrim a week earlier), I booked a pair of front row seats. Saturday in the Abbey, darling. Sure what else you would be doing?

Festering in my pit, one Saturday morning, some weeks ago, I received a call from the box office.  Apparently the stage was larger than anticipated, meaning my front row preview seats were  no longer available – in fact my front row no longer existed. Would I be interested in swapping them for full price tickets during the run – at no extra cost to myself? My answer was swift, and in the affirmative. Continue reading Theatre times: ‘Jimmy’s Hall’

My glittering writing career

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Rehearsals are well under way for the new Firedoor Theatre showcase called ‘Uncut’.

On a twice yearly basis this group invites writers and directors to submit new, or previously performed, pieces. If selected, a number of them get staged over a series of nights in a theatre in Dublin. In addition to the showcases the group also stages a full length theatrical extravaganza (also known as a play) a couple of times a year.

Firedoor Theatre is the name of the city based theatre group in which I am a member. I got involved, upon arrival in Dublin in late 2015. I had been a member of both the InPlayers English language theatre group, and the Badhuis group in Amsterdam, prior to my departure from that city. Always as an actor though. I joined this Irish group, partly to maintain my interest in drama. More realistically however, I wanted to meet new people. I was quite the Billy NoMates when I first landed in Dublin, after decades away. I thought that mingling among people with active ‘jazz hands’, would ease my re-entry into the Dublin social whirl. Continue reading My glittering writing career